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  CSPAN    Capital News Today    News/Business. News.  

    March 21, 2011
    11:00 - 2:00am EDT  

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purpose to get the pressure said that you do not have a catastrophic failure to contain. that relief path is exterior to the panama -- to the plant. you would not have the hydrant and accumulation in the upper levels of the building, which we believe this because of the explosion. the spent fuel pools on this design are also on that same level of the reactor building. the hard in the event would not do anything to help hydrogen that came from the spent fuel pool. >> you also mentioned that we have designed basis, 5-b installed after september 11. did the japanese have any of
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those? >> i am not sure. we are trying to get information and i am not personally aware of that. >> thank you. some people are asking why did the germans shot down their plans for some plants after the accident and we did not? is that prudent of the germans? >> i am not aware of the basis of the german decision to do that. i.m. 100% confident the review that we do every single day, that we have a sufficient basis for believe or to conclude that the u.s. plants continue to operate safely. we have asked ourselves the question every single day, should we take the regulatory action based upon the latest
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information, and because of the kind of things i outlined in my presentation, we have now reached the conclusion. >> thank you. of course the seismic risk is at the forefront of the news. we hear that -- first of all, we emphasize that the seismic design is based on the hard road map for to the horizontal dynamics of the plant. -- a horizontal dynamics of the plant. we also hear that the outbreak at fukashima had not been anticipated. we would say that in the united states, we designed our plant by looking at the historical effort but we added margins.
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i believe that the strongest earthquake in the united states has occurred east of the rocky it wasns, in the 1800's, between 7.7 on the richter scale, something like that. immediately you get the question, you design against those, but look at japan. if you had an earthquake with a magnitude of nine, how does one answer that question? you could always have and 9.5 occur. is there a rational way of addressing that? >> my explanation is one i know you understand. we look that up faults around the u.s. and have that information's. look at the historical record, but that the maximum earthquake, and with everything we do, we add margins, but we
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also looked at the specific location in relation to the fault. we considered the kinds of soil and rock formations between the fault location and the site, and analysis to see the ground motion that would actually be seen at the site. and we design for an earthquake of a certain size. i am falling into the trap of saying of a certain size, of the ground motion of a certain magnitude. having said that, with all these other things, severe accident management guideline, the b five b procedures, we have procedures and equipment in place that says, even if we were wrong and the plant suffered this serious event, we have in fact the activities, the equipment, ready and practiced to respond
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to protect public health and safety. i do not know if i should throw that on here is if you want more detail on seismic issues. >> just say your name. >> i am with seismic research. a lot like to make a couple of points. the first is related to the ground motion in japan. recently, starting in 2006, the japanese regulatory agency will form a study in which they look that increased hazard at the plant. recently they did a re- evaluation of that impact at the facility. we've worked -- they were in the middle of this as the event occurred. a number of modifications were
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made to the plant. it is not clear exactly what modifications the fukashima plant had already had implemented. however the ground motions for which the plant was re- evaluated is about 0.62 g. based on the preliminary information that we have, 0.62 g is the range of the motions actually experienced by the plant. although it came from a different earthquake than was anticipated, the ground motion for which the plant was assessed was a 7.1, very close to the plan. that is what produced the ground motion even though it was a different event, they were not out of the range that they had already considered.
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it is less clear with regard to the tsunami. currently japanese society of civil engineers had an assessment guidance for japan. it was anticipated that the japanese regulators would to a similar study for tsunami has assessments at the plant when that was completed. unfortunately, because the guidance had not yet been completed, they did not initiate the work. to clarify that even though this particular event was larger than anticipated, it probably did not exceed ground motion. the one exception might be in a long period range, because if you have a large event farther away, you have more long period contact than anticipated from a close event. the second question is heisman
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-- seismic hazard in the united states. we are undertaking a program to issue 0199 looking at the potential impact to assess risk, given a perceived increase in the ground motion hazard in the central u.s., which was initiated by the new usgs seismic hazard mapping work that was done. it is important to note that when the modern analysis techniques used are probabilistic techniques, and they account for as a plea all sources, all the different magnitude capable of those sources, up to and including maximum magnitude events, which we have seen in the historic record.
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the most widely felt earthquake in the u.s. was the 1812, which we think were a magnitude 7. and yet we do at the potential for exceeding that, we also captured the likelihood that that event occurs. that also accounts for background specificity, which cannot be attributed to a specific fall. it is important note that seismicity tends to be in what we call seismic zones, which are not regularly attributable to false. and we account for all of these hazards in the seismic zone. one of the questions that has come up repeatedly is how many plants are near faults or in moderate or high seismic regions. that is a very challenging question to answer is because
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they are not well defined. the fault of the 1811 and 1812 earthquakes have never been identified. they are under very deep sediments in mississippi. we have to account for the uncertainty of the location and for the uncertainty involved in maximum magnitude. and all that is incorporated in the house of analyses that we undertake. the generic issue program is using the most date of the r type of analyses, which to look at earthquakes and include earthquakes beyond the design basis. in that way we directly account for those potential sources and those potential earthquakes which are not under our current design basis, and we are currently assessing the risk on those events.
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>> thank you for that, amy. >> i would like to make one comment and ask my last question. you mentioned several times probabilities. even after we to this analysis, -- do this analysis, it is a different way of looking at. it is not the most likely have been that we anticipate, we always ask that question, what if we are wrong and we take additional measures. that is important for people to understand. probability is sometimes easy to attack. one last question. as you mentioned, the damage in fukashima was not really caused by the earthquake. it was the tsunami that came afterwards.
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the question now is, when we license power plants here, are we considering this 1-2 punch? are we considering a major fire for a plug because banks holding water pail? -- or a flood, because banks holding water back fail? how are we approaching this issue in the united states? >> the design basis includes many different analyses. i would say one thing about the earthquake in japan. we do not know what the impacts of the earthquake are inside the reactor building's specifically. that is where most of the and equipment of interest to us would be located. it may have survived perfectly well, or there may be damage
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that we just do not know about. we need to see what the inspection results, once they have access to the plant, are. but our reviews for the u.s. includes by -- they are always cite specific. in earthquakes, in a soft soil environment, there's not a very challenging review that as challenges -- that is required. but it might be that you need a storm surge for a hurricane or for a tsunami. you do not take every possible current event and pile them altogether into one event. it is done more on a event by event basis. [inaudible] >> you could answer the
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question, is more generally, held to reconsider separate design basis events -- how do we consider separate design business events, or can we consider them all simultaneously on a plan? >> as bill mentioned, we take into account whatever natural phenomenon could occur at a particular site, whether or hurricane, a tsunami, an earthquake, tornado, what have you. i have not exactly sure if i understand the question directly. are you asking a seismic event followed by tsunami? i know that we in now lot -- analyze the tsunami in the maximum storm surge. and also what kind of run out what happened. physically a tsunamis are triggered by an earthquake.
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one of the things we would analyze for that, and we have done that for our plants on the coasts. >> thank you. >> we are at a very early stage and detailed information is probably going to be some time until we have it. exactly what the impacts of the tsunami and/or the earthquake will probably take some time to understand. >> good morning, bill. all be as quick as i can. there has been a lot of discussion in the media that compares what is happening in japan to three mile island. as i looked at this and we are still early, i tend not to think about three mile island than
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9/11. one reason is that it seems to me there are a lot of lessons learned, a lot of technical details to sort out over time. but as in the case of 9/11, is there a major conceptual a-ha sitting there in front of us? i do not want to miss the forest while looking over the trees. in the case of 9/11, it was not that we just need to do a better job of protecting the airplane cockpits and lots of other security upgrades, it was a conceptual a'ha that the threat is different? do you see a different message out there that we should be thinking about? >> i do not see a significant message, but that is why we need to do this quick look review. my personal view is that what we need to do is take some very experienced people that are both
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within the staff, and maybe take some even recently retired people that have expertise in the broad areas of design review and licensing, and let them focus on the question -- is there something here that causes us to question the way we have applied, and being a risk-in form, the various barriers of radiation release protection and those kinds of things. evaluate whether or not there is something different that needs to be done. it has not actually occurred to anything, it has given me a confidence, if you will, that all of those redundancies and all of our processes are paying off. it was maybe in the view of
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some stakeholders overly conservative the way that we have to approach this, but i think we see the value and benefit of that approach that we have used for the last 35 years. >> i appreciate and agree with that. let me give you some thoughts about where i think there might be larger issues to think about. in looking at, as we described it, we do not know the details but we do have the sense that the plant seemed to survive the earthquake. we do have the sense that the theami's disabling of backup power system led to the situation that followed. but even beyond that, there is the fact that there was so much difficulty in bringing resources to the plant to recover from that situation. when you look get our plants, you could -- we have certainly
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done things in a b5b and we will be looking at those issues. but if you lose a lot of infrastructure and the ability to get to decide, if you lose hundreds of miles of transmission wire and lose the ability to have rail transport, to move equipment around, that is something i do not know there has been a lot of thought about. i wonder if you could reflect on that for a moment. . when i look at this event, i looked at us significant struggle, especially in the early part, to get the right resources to the plant to be able to recover from this accident. even today there is basic power. when you think about this and we will get this in great detail, but do we have the regulatory scope to cover all the ground that needs to be covered to be
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sure that the infrastructure is in place to be able to recover from an accident like this? >> there are a couple of levels of like to touch on in response to that question. i have no idea what the situation is in japan regarding their regulations and what they have in place. i am not complying with the they have or did not have these kinds of things. -- implying that they did have or did not have those kinds of things. but in the united states, there are is a requirement to in dallas -- to analyze what happens in a plant in its coping strategy to deal with a loss of all ac power. if you lose the transmission and the diesels do not start, then they have to do in the valuation and a coping study on how they would be able to restore the plant. that has resulted in various
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approaches at different sites. some have a gas turbine on the site that could be very quickly hooked up into the grid -- not into the grid, into the plant. there's some that have non- safety related diesel generators. there's some that have diesel fire pumps so that there is a backup to a back up to a backup wade to inject water into the corps and to the spent fuel pool. there is a regulatory construct required and mandated for that kind of activity. from the u.s. perspective, coming out of 9/11, we had the department of homeland security position to orchestrate the entire federal response to an event of magnitude you might be suggesting, that what happened so that the full resources of
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the u.s. government would be able to use different resources to get a temporary equipment to the site in order to provide electrical power, tipperary diesel generators, that kind of thing. and a backstop for all of that, and i'm leaving the federal regulatory requirements perspective, is that the u.s. industry i think is unique in the world, but also within the industries in this country, the wall on the one hand they are competitors, but they share operating experience. they have programs that they all contribute to. they had an inventory of spare parts and equipment that could be very quickly brought to bear in responding to this kind of event. this is outside the regulatory purview, i want to make clear,
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but this is another backstopp that would help a site that had a similar kind of problem. >> i appreciate that. let someone else echo of your positive words about the industry. in this particular industry, i think it responded very well to this. i particularly congratulate one company's efforts to work with the international partners, and also to take positive actions here in the united states. i think they have done a good job, and i think individual companies have done a lot and so i congratulate the industry for reacting that way. let me move on to a different subject. we have talked about hydrogen this morning. and the measures that we have to
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deal with hydrogen. is it your understanding that all the hydrogen came from the spent fuel? >> i would now want to hazard a guess. it is certainly a likely source, but whether it was all that, i cannot tell. >> i want to give you a chance to give a more holistic response to this. what would keep hydrogen from collecting and exploding in the united states? >> the u.s. design approach is to have integrity of the containment. if you do that even with fuel damage, you can prevent the uncontrolled release of radioactive material into the environment. three mile island, for example, had scored damage, a significant amount, get the radiological receives -- releases were very
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limited. there was negligible health effects from that accident. then it's will allow the primary containment -- the vents will allow the primary containment to stay in tech. that is the single most important thing. the other thing to maintain containment was particular design, we have required since the late 1980's inerting of the containment. it is filled with nitrogen. so you do not have oxygen, so even if you did have hydrogen in there, you would not have an explosion or fire. those are the big ones. >> one more question. just to give you a chance to clarify, there has been awful lot of chatter in the press over
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the weekend about the impact of 50-mile evacuation zones around united states. could you give your position on what emergency planning requirements are and why we are confident in what we have today? >> we have as part of the emergency preparedness constructs in this country, a 10-mile zone which completely encircles every reactor in the country. it is in coordination with the man who has all site emergency preparedness roles -- with fe ma who as of sight emergency preparedness roles. -- has offsite emergency preparedness role. the nrc does not make the recommendation regarding
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evacuations or any other protective actions. that is the responsibility of the state government. it would be the governor that would ultimately be making that decision. we are in a position to provide independent assessment and advice to the governor in those kinds of circumstances. the situation that led to the 50-mile guidance in japan was based upon what we understood and still believe have existed, grated conditions and the two at the site.ols based on the situation as we understood it, we thought it was prudent to provide the recommendation to the ambassador to evacuation how to 50 miles in japan. it was not based on the
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existing radiological conditions, but what at that time was a possibility. we thought it was the prudent, conservative suggestion. if those conditions existed in the united states, we would have made the exact same recommendations. the idea that there might be some misunderstanding that because we have a 10-mile evacuation zone, that is the extent of what we would consider, that is not true at all. we would have done the exact same kind of analysis and on for the same thought process to convert -- and gone through the same thought process to consider an evacuation, whatever measures we thought were proper it. >> thank you. >> i think you for your leadership in this effort and for the hard work and professionalism. it was helpful in your opening statement -- talk about the
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history of the nrc, post-three mile island, post-9/11, what additional steps were considered or implemented. i think that history is very relevant to the near term and longer term efforts. certainly areas hurricanes, andrew, katrina, that this country has faced, they provide data. as for various steps -- data points for various steps in the nuclear field. does any of your experience at a time to make any significant lessons learned from the process -- not the substantive technical details but the process employed following these other significant events, that would help inform the task force's execution of its mission?
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>> is very important that the task force keep the broad perspective of the regulatory framework that exists within the nrc and the legal framework within the united states. there is a temptation to try to pile in every good idea of that exists in to something that becomes unmanageable. and ultimately could end up being counterproductive to safety. there was a degree of that, in my opinion, always speaking in my personal opinion, after three mile island. when i started at the agency at 1983, we were following up the actions of three mile island action plan. anyone who started in the in our say has that number burned into their brain, because we spent an enormous amounts of resources
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following up on those activities. some of those are absolutely instrumental in improving the safety in this country. somewhere, i believe, actually -- if we had carried them all out, might have been counterproductive. they might have been a good idea in somebody's mind. after you go through the brainstorming and the identification of all possible things to change, i think there needs to be a good evaluation, a thorough evaluation of what is the right thing to do and in what kind of sequence and timing. >> i will make two comments on that. one is for your information and you may be aware of it, but the national academies and it took a significant study for about nine or 10 federal agencies looking at disaster resilience in this
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country, pacifically from the context of inner edges cooperation, roles and responsibilities. it was not nuclear-specific. the extent of interagency coordination in this country is a prime study of that subject. there may be some value in looking at that. referring to the commissioners question on the transportation and logistics report, which i completely agree have been issues in this particular response. one might take note of the defense department's efforts in 1963. there has been a very operationally ready deep submergence rescue vehicle on standby close to airplanes on the east and west coasts of the united states to provide a response. other agencies have gone through similar analogs to see
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how they would deal with responses. that is something to note. also staying on the big picture historical nature of some of the prior nrc responses to these big events, it strikes me as perhaps the recipients of these reports will be representing a broader cross-section than typical commission meetings. we have the nuclear industry, many of the same stakeholders from issue to issue, but my personal opinion is that this is one where how we communicate to john q. public, the person who does not have a stake in the industry, not part of one of the normal stakeholder groups, but deserves and needs to receive a reply that they can understand, it is really essential.
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anything from your prior experience at nrc did you think would be in your initial thoughts on how we communicate so that people and the american public understand on these longer-term efforts? >> this is just my view, my public assessment. especially in the long term review that we do, we need to build in a meaningful engagement with all the stakeholders. they have an enormous capability to understand the most technical issues. sometimes we think that capability does not exist, but it is in fact not true. i have had an enormously valuable input from a wide range of stakeholders. this is off of event response, but when we establish an oversight program 10 or 12 years ago, we use just that kind of approach. we brought in all kinds of
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different stakeholders from all different perspectives, and it was a very impressive and results that had everyone's buy yin. pro-nuclear, anti-nuclear, they said that this was a good approach to regulatory reform. that is the same mindset to start at the beginning, and where we get into the trouble is the regulator is when we have our mind made up, or even if not, but there is a perception that we have our mind paid-up. i think we need to do it right from the very beginning, have it be very open and transparent. >> thank you. as the chairman indicated in his comments earlier, there is much that we do not know and there will be significant periods of time bill or we have
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significant rain in the already -- significant irregularities. i have spent very little time looking at spent fuel pools. i go visit the plant and see the pool and some of these events. i have probably seen four in the last year. i do not have much background on the pools. i recognize that has been a focus of a lot of the concerns over the last 10 days, and perhaps compared to our discussions in the emergency core cooling systems, and other issues we do not spend a lot of time as a commission talking about, is there any initial area of u.s. reactor plant spent fuel configurations or operations that comes to your mind as warranting particular exploration in this task force? >> clearly is a very simple
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problem. all you have to do is keep water in the pool. the only objective is to keep water in it. even if in a bad situation, if it were the he debt in you have boiling, as long as you kept the fuel covered with water, you will prevent the high radiological release. i think what the task force needs to do is to go down the specifics of what happened in japan, and evaluate that to make sure that in fact these things that we put into place after 9/11, for example, really would work under that scenario. we have thought about things like making sure that the equipment you are going to use would not be damaged in the event that caused the first problem. you cannot have everything exactly where it is ready to be used. there has to be some staging area.
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on a tsunami or flooding issue, he would not want equipment stored outside. it would be swept away. another what if that would help us explore and probe what the various scenarios are, make sure that we have the most -- the highest probability of success. that is really the box we need people to think about. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> are there any other questions that my colleagues have? i am sorry. >> i'm not sure if i can ask a question. [laughter] i do want to take a moment and think all of the nrc staff that have responded to this event. -- thank all of the nrc staff that have responded to this event. they're working very hard, very long hours, still doing their real jobs too.
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that has to be our first priority. i won the spade -- make special note of the team of people that volunteered to go to japan on notice, that -- on no notice, working in a way that there is no operating procedure to operate in. they had had to develop it on the go. there are many people that have worked very hard. we have sent another person to help in that team leader role, and there is the next wave of nrc employees that have volunteered. they will be leaving, i think it is tomorrow, and the last element of that group on thursday. i want to make special note of their commitment and professionalism. >> i appreciate that and your work as well. at this point, we do have
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proposal that captures at a high level some of these ideas for a path forward. i would encourage that we move on that as promptly as possible. i thought i would offer at this time an opportunity if the one wants to make comments on that or any other issues that we have in front of us. >> i thank you for convening this meeting today. it is been very helpful. i know that we are all ready to move forward to take the actions we need to take. >> again, i want to thank everybody for their efforts so far. i want to reiterate as we close that as many people on this side of the table had indicated, we have had many of us carry close and personal relationships with colleagues in japan. our hearts go out to them as they deal with this very
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difficult event. and we will continue to work to provide our colleagues in counterparts in japan with assistance as they needed to deal with the situation. and i think as the commissioner indicated, it is likely the first of many discussions we will have on this topic. i look forward to continuing the discussion and our focus on hard courts say the mission. with that, we are adjourned. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> as soon is that both happens, we will let you know. first the commissioner's seat -- need to see it in front of them. when that is done, that will be made public. it will not be unlike what you heard laid out today by the staff.
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you have a question? >> longer-term, -- [unintelligible] >> the staff wants to be able to see what can be obtained over the long term, because a lot of the work [unintelligible] the nrc is taking data from any and all sources. we will see get from the government, from pepco, as we have been doing. [inaudible] >> i do not know. we have 11 individual -- we have had one individual.
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people are working to the point of exhaustion. >> any information on the radioactive release? >> i do not. [inaudible] >> no, that would be longer than 90 days. we will go on for quite some time. there is a wealth of the information to come from this disaster. it will take a substantial amount of research. first to collate all the data and then match that up against our programs to see if there things that we can learn that will affect one area or another. in and the proposal will come from that as well? >> we will look more at that as
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well. short term, and the longer term, it will evolve from that. >> the longer term is not been established. >> correct. >> their readiness and instructions, those are going to go on? >> those are ongoing. so that everyone understands, the nrc has registered inspectors to work day in and day out at every nuclear plants in this country. from the beginning of this, we have been aware of what is going on and then looking at nuclear plants as part of our routine, and that will continue. any information from japan will be factored in in terms of directing staff to look at particular things. every site, some have more than
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one reactor. they will have two and probably more resident inspectors. [inaudible] >> that would be the first line, but we have inspectors who supplement the on-site staff. we have inspectors president at headquarters as well. >> some details as what the 90- day review will involve? >> we ran down in a broad sense what would be looked at. >> thank you. >> some more questions on the safety blackout rules. >> station blackout rules.
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>> does the nrc check that annually? >> i do not know. i cannot tell you how often they are examined. all aspects of the plant's operation and its ability to respond to one particular type of incident or another are reviewed on a regular basis by the nrc. >> ok, ok. >> peace proposal, whose will they? >> staff has prepared a collection of approaches. the chairman, i believe, will make a recommendation for a proposal to his commissioners -- excuse me just a moment.
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>> more now on nuclear energy in the u.s.. from today's "washington journal," this is 40 minutes. "washington journal" continues. host:? spencer is from the heritage foundation. thanks for being here. jack spencer. guest: fangs. everyone has been focused largely on what has been going on in japan -- thanks, everyone has been focused largely on what has been going on in japan. we are looking at whether or not we should build more nuclear power plants in this country. nothing has happened in japan that is indicative of the underlying safety of the technology. regardless of what is going on
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in japan, it does not erase the 50 years of safe operation we have had in this country and around the world. there have been a number of highly publicized actions -- the one that the japanese is dealing with right now, chernobyl, the and one, three mile island. no one was hurt or injured as a result of radioactive release. the story in japan is still unfolding. chernobyl was very different from the other two. host: we are speaking with jack spencer from the heritage foundation. we are taking your calls. the numbers are at the bottom of your screen. would you call yourself a supporter of nuclear power?
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guest: it has great potential. we benefit greatly from it. we should not build one that is economically feasible. if we have the right policy changes to bear and a change in the economics -- but yes, i support a nuclear power. its potential is limitless. host: 104 reactors in the united states. our most americans aware of where the plants are in the united states? guest: many of as a live near them. we get 20% of our electricity from them. one of the interesting points in looking at new technology, for those interested in environmental concerns, it
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provides 73% of our emissions- free electricity. host: obama asked regulators to do a review of nuclear plants. let's listen to that. >> we have a responsibility to learn from this event in japan. we need to look at the safety and security of our people. i have asked the commission to do a comprehensive review of the safety of our nuclear plant in light of the nuclear disaster that unfolded in japan. host: obama speaking last week. he was asking them to do a regulatory review. he can not order them to do so. guest: the nuclear regulatory commission is looking at these types of things. the president had to make a statement such as that. there is a perception that earthquakes in this tsunamis --
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and tsunamis, this is not new to our nuclear regulators and industry. in the u.s., we are constantly going over nuclear plant safety and upgrading it. we need to learn whatever lessons we can from japan and apply those lessons. if any regulatory changes are needed, we should do that. host: a comment coming from the associated press by an.p.r. -- via n.p.r. guest: that is something that regulators should take into consideration.
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i think we need to see how this plays out. the information is so scant at this point. we should not make any broad policy recommendations. host: democrats line. caller: i do not think we can afford not to use nuclear energy. it is good clean energy for the most part. i think we need to try to learn a little bit from what happened in japan. we should not put nuclear energy plants on the front line. we should not continue running them. after you see what an earthquake can do to a nuclear plant, it does not make sense to do that.
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sooner or later, you are waiting for something to happen. when it happens, this lesson that we are learning from what happened in japan is a good lesson. we should look at it. we shall not turn our back on nuclear energy. guest: a great point. some of those close to fault lines are not as close to major fault lines as what they are sometimes described. moving forward, our regulators to a good job of identifying where the safest place is for nuclear plants to be built. this is an opportunity for us to learn what that process is, so we can move forward feeling safe
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about it. host: why certain states? guest: many of them are densely populated states that need a lot of energy. you get a lot of energy output without a lot of land being used, when you are dealing with nuclear energy. nuclear power is a great way to provide clean energy. some of the new power plants seem to be further in the south, where you have increased demand for energy. it all depends. host: here is a comment from twitter.
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let's start with this idea of government guarantees. guest: i support nuclear energy. i do not support subsidies for anything. we should be able to sell our goods and services on the marketplace and compete. the energy policy put forth a very limited guarantee program after 2005. i do not support or fight against it. most of the risk associated with our power is government imposed. it is through a waste management policy that is difficult. all of these sorts of things.
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establishing this is required before people want to invest going forward. a limited program has some justification. host: where do we put the waste? guest: it is a problem of the overall function of our industry. right now, it is stored safely and efficiently. the federal government said they would take the place, and they defaulted on it for several years. the policies have not been as particular in the nuclear waste area. i work current plan is to put nuclear waste of in a mountain. host: this shows, which areas
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are seismically active and where these plants are located. . the plants originally are for 40
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years. some of our plants are getting into that time frame. most of them have applied for life in stanchions. they could get an additional 20 years. most of our plants will last at least 50 years. we will see if they can be extended even further. we could be in the range of 50- 80 or even more years. but what is critical to bear in mind is that these plants are constantly being monitored for safety and proper operations. host: jack spencer can the heritage foundation. let's take a look at some information from the nuclear energy institute about where the newest nuclear plants are. the latest was in june of 1996 in tennessee. prior to that back in 1993 comanche peak number two in texas. before that in 1990 comanche
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peak one in texas. and obvious that not any development for a long time. take us through the history of that. guest: well, one of the interesting things to bear in mind to those dates is not when those came in but when the regulatory process began. for all of those began in the mid 1970's. when i mentioned earlier about the government-imposed risk and the regulatory environment, it's not a comment on being too much safety regulation. it's a comment of being too inefficient regulation. when it takes that long, literally decades to build a plant, that creates a ton of risk and unpredictability. when you are talking about a multibillion-dollar plant, that's when you get the government-imposed risk that needs to be mitigated at least for the first one or two plants. that's a big problem. host: mike, independent, buffalo, new york.
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hi, mike. caller: hi. how are you doing this morning? host: good. caller: my first comment is the guy from the heritage institute. i'm amazed that you guys always have someone from the heritage foundation or the a.a.i., american enterprise institute or the chamber of commerce, all of these apologists for conservative thoughts. he mentioned that it was nuclear energy was emission-free. well, now he agrees with, you know, global warming and all that kind of stuff. but it's not clean energy, you know, as he mentioned before because there's nuclear waste. one of the biggest problems that they have is nuclear waste is stored on site and one of the reactors where they have the controler stored, that's where it's emitting the plutonium, which is more --
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radioactive stuff that they use for the energy. you know -- and i just feel that -- and he was talking about subsidies. he doesn't support subsidies. nuclear energy would not exist if it wasn't for subsidies. so -- host: let's leave it there. guest: let me nuclear power plants do create waste but unlike almost any other energy source that i am aware of, that waste is contained in the waste bundles. so if you took all of the waste that was generated in american nuclear power plants throughout the entire history of commercial nuclear power that waste would fit on a single football field about 10 yards high. so volumeetrically there's not a lot of waste there.
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we need to make clear that this is a political problem. it's not a technical one. whether we put it in yucca mountain, reprocessed it, or did some other technical application to it, there are answers to being able to deal with nuclear waste. industry and government does it all the time. regarding this plutonium, that's something that we've seen percolating in the news a little bit that reactor three is a mixed plant. it has uranium and plutonium fuel in it. it's important to recognize that the percentage of plutonium is very small. it's about 6% of the total fuel amount in that reactor three. and all of that remains in the reactor. none of that was in the spent fuel pools. regarding subsidies, i don't support nuclear subsidies. i just don't. it's not that i don't believe in the potential of nuclear power. host: governor cuomo has found for a closure of one because
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it's vulnerable to an earthquake. what's your reaction? guest: i think it falls in the hands of the nuclear regulatory commission. indian point has been one of those reactors that has been a focus of the anti-nuclear movement. not making any accusations. people have concerns in light of what's going on in japan. none of less, i would -- nonetheless, i would follow the guide of our nuclear regulatory commission. it's important to realize the new york subway, for example, runs off of nuclear power. there are a lot of new york city relies on that energy. so if you take that away you have to replace it with something. host: secretary chu, the secretary of energy, says where you site reactors and going forward will be different than where we might have sited them in the past, where to place them. and this is in response to questions about the indian point nuclear plant near new york city. every time there is an accident we have to learn from those accidents and go forward.
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the chairman of the nuclear regulatory commission said his agency will review how we store spent fuel from reactors. the state of the spent fuels has been a major concern as they try to stem the release of radiation and bring the reactors under control. the n.r.c. chairman, greg jaczko said, today everybody is worried about the spent fuel. guest: well, let's start with secretary chu and the citing issues. we don't site nuclear power plants just arbitrarily. we go through a specific process, a multiyear sprirmental assessment and looks at the seismic issues. we have a 50-year history of safe nuclear power in the history. do we learn lessons from japan that apply i think we should do that. i think the system in place
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from a citing standpoint is a good one. now, the chairman and nuclear waste is an interesting topic because he's been the subject of some controversial over yucca mountain. i agree with his assessment that a couple days ago we were worried about earthquakes and tsunamis. now it's spent fuel pools. before we make any broad policy proclamations it's really critical that we learn the lessons and apply them, allow the japanese to see this crisis through. and we'll learn a lot from it and that should be applied going forward. host: jackie, democrats line in santa clara, california. welcome. caller: hi. he just got through saying that we got 50 years of no accidents. how does that relate to three-mile island? and i think that if people want nuclear energy then they should
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be required to live near the unit. people that don't want anything to do with nuclear power shouldn't live near it. unless you can design the spent fuel rods to be redesigned, why would you want to do that to the planet? a wind -- a windmill, if it blows over, that's not going to hurt anybody. if -- if you have solar paneling on all the rooftops, that's not going to hurt anybody. host: all right. guest: this notion of 50 years of safe operations that i pointed out, i didn't say there's never been an accident. there are ibs dents and accidents all the time -- incidents and accidents all the time. there's never been a major
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accident that's resulted in loss of life in the commercial nuclear industry and -- host: in the united states? guest: in the united states, yes. that's an important safety record to recognize. regarding three-mile island, that was our most significant nuclear accident, no question about it. there was a partial meltdown there. that had the potential to be really bad. but it was -- it was controlled. it was brought to a safe conclusion. it was a really bad day for the owner of that reactor. they lost a huge financial investment, but in terms of the impact on surrounding people and health, there just simply was none. the spent fuel and being recycleable. spent fuel is recycleable. that's the problem in this country how we deal with spent fuel. according to law we are mandated to do it one way, put it in yucca mountain. there may be a combination of
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yucca mountain and spent nuclear fuel that together bring us the best system to manage it. now, regarding other energy sources, the fact is wind and solar aren't to the point where we can rely on them heavily to produce energy. what we need is a strong energy mix and i would simply suggest that energy producers and consumers are far better ash tores of what that energy mix should be rather than politicians and bureaucrats and that's what we need to move toward. allowing energy producers to produce energy and the government to set high safety standards regardless of source and allow that system to emerge. host: jack spencer, nuclear -- a piece in the "new republic" just came out a few days ago and it talks about the sher noble disaster in 1986. he said it was a genuine tragedy. 50 people killed. it's still unclear what states awaits the 800,000 workers
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known as liquidators who were sent in to clean up the mess. he said in fact studies have shown that one of the most serious health consequences of chernobyl was the psychological damage including posttraumatic stress. phantom symptoms and suicide rates skyrocketed. fear, it turns out, is one of the worst effects of a nuclear accident. he asks which raised the question, is there any cure for our outsized atomic anxiety. for some reason we have a specific fear, a real palpable fear of nuclear energy. can you address the relationship of not only americans but the international community has with nuclear power? guest: yeah. we need to recognize where the technology came from. it came out of a weapons program. and we have been largely told that nuclear and weapons are
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similar. we've associated those two things culturally. as commercial foreign relations go forward, a lot of our fears that are in the weapons program i think are carried over with that. i don't know how we get over with that. we continue to educate ourselves, learn more about nuclear energy, weigh its pros and cons and learn from places like japan. but yes need to make sure that we don't deny ourselves access to this really important power source if it makes economic sense, if it can be done safely which i think those things have been demonstrated to be the case. host: me policea, republican in buffalo. good morning -- melissa, republican in buffalo. good morning. caller: hi. i have to comment on the last couple callers. i'll be brief. first of all, for the person that said the heritage center is an apologist for a conservative thought, there's no such thing. there were people with differing opinions and you need to learn with to deal with
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that. if you cry about nuclear waist, why don't you cry for the millions of acres of human waste, garbage, that takes up planned fills in this country? and as far as three-mile island , i know you said before that no one got hurt but i do think it did affect the community. so my question is, as far as safety goes, with regard to energy, we have the recent incident with the b.p. oil spill and there's been questions as to safety valve that could have been purchased that were or weren't in use. is there anything that can ensure lack of corruption in the regulatory system or anything like that to where we can have these safety measures in place? maybe not mandated by the government but just ensure that they're done at the discretion of the power plants?
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i don't know if i'm asking this the right way, but i think we need less nanny state type deal and more self-regulation among the nuclear power plants to make sure they are self-regulating. host: you talked about not wanting a nanny state but you are asking to see some real responsibility when it comes to avoiding human error when you construct a plant, when you run a plant. so how do you bring those two together? who is responsible in overseeing to make sure that shoddy concrete isn't poured into a facility or that workers aren't, you know, slacking off on the job? caller: i think it just needs to get to the point where we have the government and the industry having a little give and take. we don't want the government in the business too much because then it gets to a point where you do have a nanny state and you do have an industry that doesn't get to have control. host: ok. guest: the caller brings up a number of really good points.
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let me first say that we often think of regulation, the more regulation the better and that's not always the case. there are examples where so much regulation is in place that people who know how to do right -- the correct operations, this isn't nuclear particularly but in industry generally, that it doesn't end up bringing about the safe operations that everyone would like to see. let me take a moment to comment on the nuclear industry specifically. i'm not part of the nuclear industry. it's really important to say that because what i am about to say is good about the nuclear industry. the way we do regulations in this country for nuclear power is interesting. and i think goes -- it demonstrates where it's been so successful. we have the industry itself, the people who own the plants and operates the plants. we have a nuclear regulatory commission who enforces those standards and works with the plants. but we have a third leg to that stool in the united states. it's called the national institute for nuclear power operators. in our accident what we learned from is we need a separate
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organization who was private and independent from the industry and from government. it is there to share information, to show the world if there's a safety problem so that people respond to that because they don't want their peers to see them not operating safely. they do a whole bunch of stuff so we have this three-legged safety regulatory system in the united states that has worked very well. i think brought a lot to bear of what the caller mentioned. one of the things we at the heritage foundation has recommended is a similar system be set up for the oil industry which i think it was she. some people mentioned about the oil spill. host: ok. let's go to roanoke, alabama. steve on our independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. host: go right ahead. caller: ok. i worked at a nuclear power plant. when i first started work, we
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were going to build four 750 kilowatt units. we couldn't build but one because of the cost. now, if you take -- we have 104 nuclear power plants in the continental united states of america. on average the 750 kilowatt-powered units, how many acres of land would it take to put wind farms up? do you want someone to come in your house in the morning and say, hey, i'm going to put 50 or 60 of these three -- 300 -foot windmills in your yard? i don't think so. guest: we would need a lot of wind farms.
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now is not the time to pit one energy source against another. i don't think it's the right way to go ever. i would like to see the energy sources bring what they bear to the marketplace and the consumers to determine which is best to make sure that every american has access to affordable, clean, abundant energy. nuclear i think is part of that mix. host: how come nobody is mentioned that g.e. built the mark plant? and this is causing fear like the bomb. we have this from the nuclear energy institute. the main reactor manufacturers, the top two are general electric and westinghouse. guest: well, we need to make clear that no one builds the kind of reactors that we're having the problems in japan with. that's an old reactor model but a g.e. model. g.e. has very up-to-date
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reactor models. it's based on the same technology, boiling water reactors. they have the safety upgrades and something we would see in a fourth generation nuclear power plant. host: ok. let's take a look at this piece in "the wall street journal" to see what happens when radiation is released in nuclear facility, what is released in a nuclear plume. unstable atoms gives up radiation which can cause damage to tissue and sometimes trigger cancer. it takes us through what the bylogically significant contaminants it harmful. they have this diagram here of the human problem. eye done 131 can harm the thyroid. cesium 17 can affect the entire body. strentium 90 tends to get
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deposited in the bone marrow. and plutonium 238. it can become airborne again and cause harm. it can target bones and bone marrow. these are the folks in japan are talking about when they look at what they need to be aware of. the article is called "radiation fears prompt a new exodus." it says a week after a massive earthquake and tsunami, people fleeing from the northeast coast, we are seeing a new refugee, those running from radiation. it prompts a question, why, if this is a problem of a nuclear power plant, why? guest: let's look at radiation, specifically what's going on in japan right now. radiation levels are elevated on site and those are the folks who have the most to worry about now, but it's important to recognize that even there the levels remain low enough that workers can continue to
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operate. that tells us something. right now on site radiation levels are about 1/3 what they are, what you get from a c.t. scan. so just to give it some perspective. not defending it, not saying it's good. that's what it is host: there are questions of how safe c.t. scans are. you should not ge repeated ones. guest: or unnecessary ones. those are all sort of the effects. things what we're hearing about iodine being found in the water. look, that's bad. we don't want iodine -- radioactive iodine in the water. that said, radioactive iodine has a relatively short life and will decay fully in a couple weeks. it's not good at all. i'm not suggesting that. i'm not suggesting it's something that needs to be stopped but it's manageable over time. some of these other things are going to be -- you're going to see some proliferation of them
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but they are going to be in very low levels likely, based on the information we have now, and largely confined to the immediate area around the site mostly. anything we see beyond that, according to the best information, which things can change and we're seeing with this in particular, events change on the ground minute-by-minute. you're going to have local within the evacuation zone, more contamination but even those should be well below what is dangerous for public health and safety. host: mary ann joins us from ohio. good morning. caller: good morning. well, first i just want to say i hope folks have sent money or whatever kind of contribution they can to japan. i mean, obviously folks there are in dire straits. so hopefully folks have sent money. jack, you made a comment about waste being kept on the sites. i really question that. i mean you obviously know more
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than most of us. you know, really, is the waste, nuclear waste kept at the site, is that 100%? and then, which existing plants, nuclear plants have had the most serious violations and are -- where can we go to find more information about which plants have existing violations? and can you be specific about how much nuclear energy is subsidized? and then i just want to make another comment about some earlier callers about where c-span draws their guests and whether -- if they have agendas how they are subsidized or funded. and i think it's a really important issue to look at because how is the heritage, you know, institution funded and yesterday you guys had claudia rosette on. she's a war pusher. and she started talking about iran as many of the folks who
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supported iraq. so i hope you have someone far more balanced on there like clint leverette from the new america foundation which is a great think tank. they base what they say on facts and not their personal opinions. thank you. host: mary ann, we strive on "washington journal" to get a wide range of guests on. some are journalists who try to give the story from their objective perspective. we also have guests on who are opinionated. we try to give you a little bit opinionated. we don't have government funding here at c-span. and to give you a little bit more information about our guest, jack spencer, who is a nuclear fellow at the heritage foundation. he worked on commercial, civilian of nuclear energy at the babcock and wilcox companies based in charlotte, north carolina. let's get to the comment on twitter. as long as private industry agrees to unlimited damages, no cap, i don't have a problem
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with nuclear. if they don't then forget it. guest: what the twitterer -- i don't know what that person is called, the tweeter, i think it's price anderson which is an insurance regime which government elemented to cover -- industry pays for. industry is paid for completely to cover damages for a nuclear power -- a nuclear accident of some sort. as i stated earlier, i'm not a fan of nuclear subsidies. what my stance has basically been is that nuclear subsidies should not be renewed. and, you know, i think with price anderson that renew hahl is not up for i think 15 years. as we get -- renewal is not up for i think 15 years. we need to see if there is a better system for that. i am not saying we should do away with price anderson. that's a legitimate question. recognize that's rooted in a different time and different place. if i could address the subsidy question that the caller just
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asked. how much of nuclear power is currently subsidized? nuclear power largely operates without subsidies -- subsidies today. that's the 104 nuclear power plants. you have price anderson, you have the waste issue. now, waste is not subsidized. the government said, strirks you pay us a fee and we'll take the waste. we don't know if that fee will take the waste cost because government never implemented the program. it operates largely without subsidies in the marketplace. my concern with subsidies going forward, as we have this opportunity to build new nuclear power plants that we become too dependent on subsidies and you'll never pull out the inefficiencies for them to be competitive in the long term. it's about future nuclear plants rather than existing nuclear power plants. host: one television special indicated that france decided that all of its nuclear power plants would be built exactly the same. the government examined all designs and had their scientists choose the best
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design. the efficiency of building all plants the same is obvious, and anyone who worked in one could transfer with another with ease. he believes that all plants are individually designed in the u.s. and that earn ell would not necessarily be able to transfer from one to the other. guest: well, in the u.s. our nuclear plants, we have a handful of designs and those are represented in our nuclear power plants. each nuclear power plant is a little bit different. i would hesitate, though, from choosing -- from allowing the government to choose a design and then keeng that design going -- keeping that design going forward. that keeps away from technological innovation and any number of other things. if when design emerges that is better than the rest, that will be the ones that utilities move toward and that will occur. i would point out, though, that despite the -- in the u.s. of us having multiple designs, that hasn't impacted our safety
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record. we have a very good safety record here and that's testament to our ability to regulate and to operate those different types of reactors. host: georgia, republican line, good morning. caller: good morning. yes, ma'am. host: hi, there. caller: i basically support the first caller, let's do smart things. building on -- i think it was diablo canyon, that was not smart. let's do smart things. i equate three-mile island in many ways to the ted offensive in that the propaganda put out about that was just designed to do -- hurt the industry as was ted designed to hurt our troops. let's do smart things.
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as the saying goes these days, let nuclear energy go forward. for people not wanting to live around a nuclear plant, if they don't want to, shut down the one in new york. cuomo has the idea, just shut it down and let them walk. guest: i'd like to address this earthquake issue because that's something that's come up a number of times. i think it's important to recognize what got the plants in japan was not the earthquake. despite them not being engineered for a 9.0 earthquake, despite them being 40 years old, it wasn't the earthquake. it was the tsunami that put them in the position where they are now. that wasn't an excuse. they should have been prepared to withstand a tsunami as well but it's important to recognize that these power plants in the united states and around the world are built to withstand earthquakes. as i said earlier, that's something that the nuclear
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regulatory commission and investors -- investors don't want to put billions of dollars on the line into something that will be taken away via earthquake. this is something that will be taken under very serious determination to try to >> in a few moments, for marking the eighth anniversary of the creation of the homeland security department. later, president obama's joint news conference with the president of chile. then the nuclear regulatory commission with the report on the japanese nuclear plant damage by the earthquake and tsunami. a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow morning. the group america's promise
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alliance poses a discussion on how to improve high school graduation rates. speakers include vice-president joe biden and former florida governor jeb bush. at 8:30 a.m. eastern, the treasury department conference on how small companies can access capital. panel discussions will be moderated by treasury secretary timothy geithner and head of the small business administration. >> this past week, the house passed a six short-term spending bill to keep the government operating until april 8. the house passed legislation banning federal funding of national public radio. watch the debates on line with c-span congressional chronicle. fine time lines and transcripts of every session c-span.org.
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>> the the part of homeland security markets a anniversary earlier this month in a forum that included secretary janet napolitano and former -- former heads tom briggs and michael chertoff. >> good morning. i wish to welcome all of you to georgetown university for this morning's events. the departure of homeland security year eight. we have a proud tradition here at georgetown of welcoming national and global leaders, a home for public discourse for more than a century. we continue that tradition today with the visit of our first three secretaries of the united states department of homeland security secretary janet napolitano, secretary michael chertoff, and secretary tom ridge. it is an honor to have all be with us today. we are also grateful to be
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joined today by members of congress. i wish to thank the aspen institute' for bringing us all together today. i am grateful to the president and ceo of the aspen institute for his friendship and for the spirit of collaboration that brings us together today. isn't it -- is an honor to be able to welcome the members of the community here today to georgetown as well as colleagues from the department of homeland security. -- to georgetown. i would also like to thank students at the georgetown university lecture fund for helping the staff this event. i wish to welcome andrea mitchell, the lottery -- the moderator of today house conversation. this gives us an opportunity to reflect on the changes of our world since 2001, and the ways in which the united states
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government has responded. later this year we will observe the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the world trade center and the pentag. in response to these attacks, congress created the department of homeland security to be led by the secretary, a member of the president's cabinet. the creation of the department united 22 agencies across they say the branch, making it a lot but -- the largest reorganization of the federal government since harry truman. last month, secretary to paul tallow said -- secretary janet the paula, said it takes the reorganization of the entire society, all playing their respective roles. the department of homeland security was created to serve as a catalyst and the greater of the nation's efforts to promote the general welfare.
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our universities recognize the role we play in this effort, whether in fostering public this court's -- discourse or engaging in that kind of scholarship that can support the effort of our nation or by educating the leaders of tomorrow who will contribute to these efforts. it is in that spirit that we come together today. it is my pleasure to introduce our moderator, andrea mitchell, who will begin our program. e is the nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent. she currently covers foreign policy, intelligence, and national security issues for nbc programs, with a long and distinguished career in washington. it is vioxx op -- it is my honor to welcome andrea mitchell. >> thank you very much. thank you very much. thank you, president.
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thank you georgetown university, the school of foreign service, and as people campus, this historic building. also, the co-sponsor, as then into the homeland security project. i want to acknowledge them and also walter isaacson, and we have key members of congress here today, senator mary landrieu, and also david price, the ranking member, and peter king, chairman of homeland security. jo pistol, thank you for coming. let me know if i have missed anyone, but i wanted to get in the to our three secretaries. at not sure if you have been together on a platform before,
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in testimony or in another venue, but it is great to see here today. i was crippled by the fact that secretary of paula town, who obviously is the -- napolitano, the current secrery, has seen the challenges at every level of our national service. she became the third secretary, the leader as the governor on homeland security issues, the first woman to chair the national governor's association. michael chertoff was the second secretary of homelan security, also previously was assistant attorney general for the department of justice, and is a judge on the third circuit court of appeals. and tom ridge, the former governor of pennsylvania, the first secretary, wh became the first director of the office
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after 9/11. heerhaps had the most challenging job of all. elected to congress in 1982 and reelected five times, twice governor of pennsylvania, and the first congressman to have been enlisted man in the vietnam r and has been awarded the bronze star, among other accommodations. i was very struck, secretary napolitano, you look at how relaxed they were here, sharing coffee, and he said, there is a feature after being secretary of homeland security. the first question to you is, what keeps you up at night? what is the greatest fear that we face as a nation and you face in your job? is it al araki, is it that 28
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people were killed last weekend on the mexican border, part of the ongoing drug war, which some say is the most frightening of the challenges facing the homelandight now? what isn't that makes you fearful, and i would like to acknowledge the longtime homeland security specialist, a congresswoman, who is joining us next to walter. >> the greatest threat facing our borders, we should hear from tom an michael, but i think i could say all the above, because all of them touch upon key roles of the part of homeland security. al alaki, one of the key as dollars or in speier first, if i could use that word, in the
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english speaking world. osama bin loudoun still at large, and al qaeda has been constrained to a large degree in terms of its geography, and it's still has served as a core. there are many other al qaeda- related organizations around the world that seek to harm the west and the united states. the border with mexico is something that we focus on quite a bit. it is an area where we are assisting the president of mexico in his powerful war agait the cartels that exist over the bridge from el paso, over the roads from laredo, across a huge gully in nogales.
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that is a key struggle for us, a key iss that we have. i think part of what makes homeland security such a complex and challenging position is that it is almost easier to say what you do not worry about than what you need to be worried about at any given time. >> secretary chertoff, how has it changed since your tenure and perhaps a lot of international cooperation and international cargo and the recent threats we have seen? >> i would say what janet has said is approximating the kinds of things we were concerned about what i was secretary. there has been evolution. four or five years ago, outcry, pakistan was the area of greatest threat. now we have al qaeda in the
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arabian peninsula's, alaki, in yemen, so we are beginning to e this issue spread out more. if you look at mexican, that is becoming more and more troubling. partly as a consequence of the president of mexico being heroic in pursuing the drug cartels, but they are pushing back. what we see is a widely distributed threat that might have been the case four or five years ago, and most notable is the home grown terrorism. we have succeeded in the international partners in making it more difficult for people to come into the united states to carry out operations, what we have seen now is greater emphasis on recruiting americans or residentsd to become operative, and that is challenging the model but we use for security. >> secretary ridge, a homeland
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security department was created eight years ago today. it is really the person referred -- a precedent for us gettintogether. the you think this hybrid creation has been an effective tool could i lot of people have claimed about the intelligence reorganization and that in fact i layering we hav created more stovepipes and that the mandate of the 9/11 krishan -- in the case of homeland security, the back, keep you think this has come together into a coherent agency? >> we have to go back and take a snapshot of what government look like right after 9/11, and clearly, the executive branch and congress were struggling with what is the best way to calibrate and reconstitute some
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very capable people i the organizations, but to crte a central agency and the challenge around that was that there were a lot of discussions as to what was appropriate to put in the agency. since that time, some of the things tt people have challenged with is that teh fema is exactly where it belongs. the configurations of those entities within the department was a corporate, but it was one of the things we discussed before we me out on the stage. everything is evolving from the space. i remember ty reorganize the department of defense after world war ii. we were building this new agency at the same time we were trying to build the defensive mechanisms to make america more secure. i started, michael followed,
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secretary napolitano star to do all the budgeting, and they are trying to make a more efficient organizion. if they are more efficient internally, you can be more effective at sterling. the challenging that the agency still has, which we have different opinions as to what the risk is the day, although the that has evolved as appeared remember the profile of the terrorist as we knew it right after 9/11, males, arabian peninsula, 18 to 35. that has changed, and we understand that. the biggest challenge the agency still hasnd i remind everybody every chance we get, the agency is consumer of information. it does not generate intelligence. all three of us have said everybody has a role to play in homeland security, everyone, all
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the citizens, but the ec can only act based on the information it is given, and i think eight years later, one of the big challenges is making sure that the department of homeland security has enough information so they can share with our partners, private or public. from my perspective, it is still a challenge. >> how much is it luck, and how much is at skill, and governments intelligence gathering who we have not had an attack since 9/11, yet the cause was the bomber in 2009, basically was passengers being alert. the bomber and times square was a street vendor. the cargo been intercepted in terms of taconic printers had to
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do with saudi intelligence tipping us off. the recent example in texas was the best example of homeland working the way it was intended, a shiver notifying -- a shipper notifying theepartment and i've concluded that the notion that intelligence is simply linear and that you connect the dots is not accurate. what happens now is there is lots of information,a cloud, you have to be able to discern patterns to identify threats, and you have to have multiple layers and multiple layers of our society to recognize the threat and pass it on. you have on the christmas day
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omeber, a fl- hallma it was the passengers who took him down. we have done things to tighten airline security and we have done that -- a lot in that area. when you talk about shazzad, the great example of citizen involvement. he sells hot dogs whenever, and believe notifies law- enforcement, and we go from tax notice in 53 hours to the apprehension of shazzad. respect to the student in texas, i do not want to comment too much, because it is still a pending matter, an ample of how when citizens are involved and when you open the doors and say this is not just a
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government responsible the, it is a joint responsibility to share information, recognize threats, then we try to create that homeland security architecture that, started, that michael bill on, and that we are offering. >> when you look at the threats, michael chertoff, and we think about airplanes, what about seeming to minimize -- airplane flights with three dozen people with a bomb, went into the buildings, but a bomb [unintelligible] you have to start thinking about priorities, you suggested. that created controversy. have we ignored subways, tunnels, amtrak, because of the focus on airplane security?
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>> had a general level, this is about risk management. it is not about risk elimination. if you want somebody to tell you that the government is going to eliminate all the risk of life, and you are asking someone to be a fantasy. youave to priorities. he will see this with the budget. there will have to be a justice as to where you put the money. you look at potential impact and you recognize that a catastrophic impact kill tens of thousands of people gets more investment and something that would be tragic, but my only killed 10 people. i know it is not fashionable to make that distinction in numbers, but realistically, you have to look at that. the architecture of the response is different. i would say we have done quite a bit over the years in building security in the railway system. we have these joint teams called
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vipir teams. it has continued under janet, and it is not the same fixed architecture ec at the airport because you cannot have magnetometers at every station, but it is risk management using various kinds of tools, people, technology, even k-9's. you have to use different methods for different kinds of threats one thing i want ad. tom talked about later the fed spirit there is no magic solution to homeland security. it is not want toe perfectly address by intelligence, technology. you have to build a system and has multiple layers, so if one fails, another can pick up the
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job. you have to recognize that human error is a part of the system and that is why multie layered defense allows you to overcome human errors. this is a process and the system and not a single solution. >> when you talk about leaders, secretary ridge, we take off our shoes, then you have we cannot carry our shampoo bottles. it seems we keep building laborers, and when do we reach a point where we aren't not keeping one step ahead of the terrorists could suddenly, should there be an attempt to look at previous threats and perhaps take her out we do not need all the things that are now going into the system?
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what does it feel to be one of us again? >> i get to see some great people working at tsa. with the new machines, i saw one official absolutely getting a very unhappy commercial passenger, and he was very cool and collected, and he took all the grief. i said to him, that was a great less in patience and in customer care. do yourself a favor, the next time somebody says that, you should say right to your congressman. i am just doing what i have been advised based on directions from congress. seriously, one of the challenges with commercial aviation is that we talked about this internal as well, we are not quite to the woo risks -- to the risk-managed
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state yet. every country, do we want to treat everyone as a potential terrorist forever and ever put that goes to the -- i agree with colleague that you never wanted see the point of failure. the first point of failure, is that you did not get the actor. what you do with commercial aviation? i think with the support of congress that will take umore risk-manage of courage. and have asked audiences, and we have tried, people -- volunteer information, we concluded you are not a terrorist. there is no 100% guaranteed
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income it still has to leave all. this is an irritant, but president kennedy in 1962 said -- we go to the moon in 1969. 10 years after 9/11, we have still not figured out the right piece of technology in 2011. we have a lot of work do, but that is one area where we have not learned how to manage the risk. >> this opens up a number of questions about the technology. what would be wrong with advancing on two runs, while metrics and some sort of staggered passenger list, as well as incorporating some of the techniques that the israelis
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are doing in terms of profilg? >> we did not profile. what we do is use a lot of intelligence, about hellinger -- about passengers before they get to the airport. a has been part of a process that began under michael but we have accelerated. there is intelligence about passengers as they come in. within the airport itself, you will see uniformed officers, dogs, persons carrying explosive protection equipment. you come across them. he will not see behavior detection officers to use -- who use techniques in tactics of
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someone who may be actually antipating an attack. by the time you get to that charge -- check point, there have already been five layers in advance of the. the problem is we do not hava checkpoint of the feature get, an integrated checkpoint that would enable you to leave your shoes on, carry your water bottle, not have to unload your laptop from your briefcase or backpacks. that technology is not there. we fund research at universities to help us ideify those technologies that will give us that ability. also, with our national labs. some of the research is at issue as we go to the budget process right now. research and development over all across the federal government is being cut back dramatically in the house budget as it currently stands.
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that is something that congress will want to take a look at. this kind of research has direct capability. i want to follow on one. mike said. one of the reans we did this in aviation is there is a connect to current intelligence about the desire to attack aviation, either by getting an explosive on a cargo plane or on a passenger plane, and it does not matter which is wished, although i think our aersaries would prefer passenger planes. this is a turn threat. with respect to subways and trains, we have that threat as well, not necessarily as obvious or as frequently articulate it as the threat against aviation, but the president's budget includes money for 12 more vipir teams, because they are
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useful -- they have multiple different parts to them, but they are able to help us secure some of these surface transportation nodes that we hvae. >> what about the tsa? michael chertoff. that is the face of homeland to so many people. we're talking about -- unionization of tsa. some of the cargo checks are subcurrents orchid -- are subcontracted after how would you evaluate tsa? >> i have the opportunity to travel quite a bit by air, and it has worked fine for me. part of it is i plan ahead and i know the rules are so i get myself organized.
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i watched carefully wt other people's experience art, and that's the majority of people i see good to the checkpoints cooperate with the officers, and the officers tried to be helpful. it is a challenging job. it is difficult for people to understand is you are talking about millions of people who go through that checkpoints, and it is an area where the government interfaces with the public more than any, except tax time with the irs. everybody would like to have a technological solution. the challenges have been -- if you want to have a machine that looks a liquids, if it takes 30 seconds per bottle, the line would bnine hours long. another panacea i hear talk about is what the israelis
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did, and we have aystem of the haverhill detection that works, but the israelis have one airport. we have a different architecture. i am sure that the current administration, just as ours, is intent on developing a technology that will make this easier as low as having the tools, but recognize that it is a triumph that we have not had a hijacking or a bomb go off in an airplane since september 11 in this country, and it is not for want of trying. john pistol could tell you, the amount of things could tell you that are picked up athe checkpoints that cld be components of bombs. there was one case a couple of years, where somebody had wires in a big piece of cheese, and it may sound funny, but that is how you test the system. he did notut the bomb on, so that a 9, but you look to see if
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there are wires or the metal to be smuggled to the system. it is very challenging that they have been successful. >> i wanted add one thing. an enterprising journalist will try to tweak the system and have some "nightly news"report . >> no one here. and everybody understands that are not perfect, tsa tests then sells on a regular basis. you build in a redundant la yer security, and they test it tmselves all the time. there is inconvenience associated with it. maybe there is some profile out
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there i did not understand. i get to see some of the good people doing the best they can, but they do test the system themselves, and you need to know that. they're not complacent, sitting back for some it happened. they try to probe and test and the things they discovered they applied later on and you do not know about it. >> how much progress are we making with the european union on a uniform standard so we know that these incoming flights had been vetter to our satisfaction? >> the initials stand for is a process by which we share in advance of people boarding flights, who they are, so this things can be run against a number of different data bases that we have.
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we will know before somebody gets on a flight or is allowed to get on a flight what we are dealing with. the european union, which operates now under something called the littleton treaty, which is new since both of your secretary, is in negotiations with the united states on what ue apipar. we are in the third round of negotiations, and we're getting there to a common understanding of what a good agreement would require. we need to do it in a fashion that real-time information is exchanged, it is and shakers is exchanged in a format where we are talking about billions passengers a day. we need it real time,, format,
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but we need to manage the data so that concerns about privacy are addressed. >> what does making progress mean in terms of real time, at getting an agreement? >> there is an existing agreent. what we do now is negotiating it to make it a. time aime, by the k passenger places an order for a ticket, information is exchanged. >> this has been an evolutionary process to the credit of it is not an r or d. when i was in the white house, and the first couple months, we began discussions with the european unit. we wanted that advance information. it took over a year to get at,
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but we did not get it until the plane was in the air. at least we got the information. we remembered we turned- there were a couple of people we took off the plane that year. that was the first that. secretary chertoff said that was nice, we deal with relationships, but thanks for giving it to us after the plane is airborne, why don't you do it before the plane is airborne so we do not have to land them and send them back. we-you did that. now the secretary napolitano is taking its of the next step. the color-coded system, the first thing that happened was
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ashcroft and rich would have a press conference saying the warning is --much maligned, 5- color coded system, and public communication was the st important thing the department could did. there was a consensus it had to be reached. it was designed to the people specifically what you should do. all along the way you see eight years ago, every secretary, has tried to improve upon, build, and that is a credit to the men and women who work there because we were there for four years, and everybody understands the evolutionary pcess. >> one thing that has not changed in eight years is we
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still have projects across the country, rather than the focus of the mon, primarily being in the greatest threat areas. what do we do, talking about here marks -- earmarks, there is still a lot this riveted across congressional districts. >> i have to say, overtimed along this became much to improve and there are still urban legends about distribution ofoney that occurred in the first or second round, that i cannot think reflect reality. as of the time i left, most of the money in the president's budget now, congress sometimes change that, was dedicated to the high-risk areas trad.
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new york got the most money. generally speaking, we did not a lot of earmarking. this has been an evolutionary process to build a system for allocating the money in a way that is more or less reasonable. just to be fair, are times members of congress have a different idea of what the risks are than the president's budget has, and the administration may never be 100% happy with what comes out. it has improved over time. >> getting backing to the issue of al qaeda, is out, the central no longer the central threat, the chief threat that it was, because of what has been able to be accomplished by other
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technologies? are they now talking about al alaki or other sinter groups, especially, as we see all this revolutionary change in the region, are we now facing a greater challenge because we did not have central government intelligence relationships for many years in egypt and others and now have to figure out what this new world is like the look like? >> one of the allegiance we have seen is within our qaeda itself, and whereas 9/11 was a core al qaeda actively, the genesis for the department, that attack, core outcry that has been constrained, by a number of
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activities that gone, and largely confined to that area between afghanistan and pakistan, although modern communications being what they are, things still come out of there that can be used to inspire, t institute, to le people know were still here and this i -- the west is still the enemy, and that is where you should focus your attention. we now have ap, you have al shabab in somalia, and you have these groups all over the world, and the evolution i have seen really accelerated in 90 years has been the so-called home grown, the united states persons who for whatever reasons, and we did not have a good understanding about what causes somebody to do this, they become themselves conspired to
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commit jihad, they may travel abroad to get training, and then come back, but that is a key concern for us moving forward. that is why it is so important have a security architecture that recognizes that everybody has a role. that is one of the reasons why we are taking national see something campaign, to get across to the citizens at large that everybody has a place in our security. that is why we try to work more closely with the private sector and what they are doing to protect security, because it is knocking just -- it is n just one group using one methodology. it is many different groups, dispersed, and some individuals and all groups within our own country using lots of different
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methodologies. everything in this area evolves. >> speaking to your point about what is going on in the middle east, which is commanding a lot of attention, and in terms of how do you feel about activities there, and we are reminded of a remark about the french revolution. he said it is too soon to tell how it will turn out. things are very much unfolded. on the positive, there is an alternative narrative for progress in the middle east that is in dramatic decision from that run by al qaeda, one o democracy and freedom, and that is a positive model. we do not know how it will play out because as governments are toppled, there will be a need to have a new government to come in that is capable of delivering services to the people. at some point, jobs have to be
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created. if this new government are not capae of doing that, there will opportunities arise for the military to come back or have extremists command. this is an example of an area where the verdict is very much out, and there is a cause for optimism, but also calls for careful watching and waiting, and this will have an intact on our security architecture. >> in fact, secretary to rich, we are seeing libya as an evolution or a devolution that is on to be more like somalia, a failed state. >> have seen in the middle east a -- those days are numbered look alike, and because of the absence of any institutions of
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civil society, he take a look at egypt and you say, what are they doing for self-government in egypt they're doing today that they can build upon? pretty much around the middle east, it will take a while, and one of the great things that i have, taking a look at the region right now is the influence of iran. it is by far the number 1 terrorist provide a tour -- provacateur. you've got to believe they are stirring the pot. he take a look at the support of hezbollah and what has happened in lebanon, the support for syria, the palestinian and israeli jihad. you take a look at egypt, the islamic brother heard, those are all tentacles of iran.
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there's so much uncertainty, and while we want to look optimistically about what can happen, the obstacles -- the outcome would like to be see is the -- crowing in come -- crowing -- growing influence of iran. there is a vacuum, and we need to be concerned about that. while it may not result in direct attacks the united states, unrest in the middle east, israel, what will happen, the world a tough economy, some of these actions are filled by repressive leadership, and that is serious consequences for the united states.
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they're promoting terrorism in the region, and it spills over to difficult to discern at the present time, but iran is a major problem. >> secretary not allow -- napolitano, what is the nexus to d illegal immigration and terrorism? >> right now, the question often raised is, if somebody can sneak across the border, what prevents a terrorist from getting across the border of the and i did states, a unit of mellon nations, as these two huge land borders, and iis physically and physically impossible to have a border patrol agency sitting 100 yards along each of those borders. when you are talking about risk
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management, as michael said, controlling our borders, and talking about terrorism, one of the things he have that is good intelligence. you have to be able to identify before you get to the borders of the united states, who may be transiting, either through mexico or canada or throug the air, try to get into our country. then with respect to the borders themselves, we need to understand we are never want to be in a position to seal those borders. too much traffic needs to flow back and forth. they are our number one and two trading partners. we have that order management has good, effected ports of entry, where somebody coming through, if they are trying to use someby else's identity, that can be picked up, and control as much as possible what is going on between those por.
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>> how good is the intelligence? >> the intelligence is not perfect. the idea that there is a capality to pinpoint every single threat, even at a granular level, as not realistic. that is the kind of thing you see on tevision. it is an issue of layerse and having the intelligence, putting the assets on the border that give you a reasonable chance of intercepting and apprehending. the truth is it has worked. over the last several years there have been a droin the number of people coming into the country. some of that is attributable to the economy, but some of it is also to enforcement. five years ago i was out in the yuma sec her, -- sector, and hundreds of thousands of people
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would run across the border every day, and the distance between the quarter and yuma a short distance. once they got into the town, they would land in. we put up fencing, with some people did not like, we put up technology, we added border patrol, and that number dropped dramatically to literally a handful a day. depending on where you are in the corridor, you can use a series of tools that can minimize the flow. will be an absolute seal? you can managehe risk in conjunction of these other tools . >> does it have to do with economic issues, people coming in, looking for a job who, those people come across the border are not coming across to do harm to the united states. they're doing jobs that other americans did not want to do.
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that is why in 2007, we will spend a lot of time during a comprehensive immigration reform, which came close to passing the senate. it did not make it. the end it look at putting a lot of border and resources in, but coming up with a temporary worker program in dealing with illegal migrants in the country already. >> i hope some time in the future we end up looking at our immigration policy generally. it is great to talk about defense. at the end of the day the democrats six -- the demographics suggest there will be people alacross the border in a lawful way. a comprehensive approach that secretary chertoff attended, there are a couple things i would suggest in this debate. do not thi that everybody that
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comes across the board wants to be an american citizen. we should not be that arrogant. a lot of people want to work lawfully and go back home. we need to understand that. we could use biometrics, and at some point in time, building a database where tourists can use. shawn and 4 cents for businesses to go after people who hire people outside. at some point in time, i hope that the congress accepts the responsibility, and i can say this because i was there for 12 years and voted for amnesty under ronald reagan. you got to say to yourself that you will not send 12 million people home. let's figure out a way to legitimize their status, create a new system, and tt will be do more for border security than
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anyumber of offenses we could put out. [applause] >> long term member of congress as well, elected as a republic, how would you persuade people like the governor of arizona and other leading republican voices to take another look at this? >> i have sympathy for governors to try tdo with a street that issue fades from the portfolio of concern by governors if the government has a holistic comprehensive solution. >> the budget issue facing now, may be an impetus, because it will constrained even on the abilit to put increased investment on enrcement. one thing that people did not realize now is, which those of us who had executive jobs have known, is there are hard
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choices, and yet to make decisions that are not perfect in order to get things done, in order to alleviate situations. maybe that is part of the spirit of dealing with some of the budget challenges we have faced. there will be a recognition that we will have to come up with a solution that takes into account enforcement, but deal with the immigration system over all and can be comprehensive about it. >> i want to bring in a moment, as we bring in the audienc some of our members of congress, because the interaction -- you can say having left office, it not want to be perfect, but if you are janet nepal,, and you make some sort risk benefit alysis and try to figure out what you can spend or not spent, or an impression that gets killed, and something get across and something happens, there is
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another attack, she has got to be the one facing a congressional hearing. >> yes. >> part of the job description. >> part of the responsibility that each of us has undertaken to lead this department to help build as the parma, to bring it together, and i think each of us acknowledges the risk we take in accepting that position. if you make a decision and it makes -- and it turns out badly, and other words, something you thought would not happen actually does, and it may be nobody made a mistake, and maybe just one of those things that happens, i thinks if you can demonstrate to the public and
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the public, to the congress, to the public at large, why you did what you did and what the reasons for it were, i believe the public itself has matured and is maturing in its recognition of what security is and what risks are. and so i would hope that you could have that kind dialogue. again, when you leave the apartment of homeland security, you are sitting on the edge of your chair quite a bit of that time. >> i wanted to button this down with one other issue out there. it is the role of the media. when you have stories hammering home every day during the christmas travel season about the base of technologies -- in technologies, how do we
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balance what w do can either help or hurt -- it is not our role to be a partner, but there are times when we sit on information at the request of government agencies, most recently happening in pakistan, involving all of us. what is the appropriate health the adversarial relationship that also does not get in the way of national security ? >> this is a daily struggle, because the media is there to cover news, and oftentimes you are in possession of information the media does not have and you cannot share. that means he cannot share it with the public, and that is one
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of the parts of the job. one of the frustrating things about the media, however, present and coming -- present company excluded -- needed to convert something 24/7, and the means the things you need to cover is a conflict. there is a constant drum beato take a fight or s that person said this, how do you respond to that? that sort of dynamic. as opposed to from our standpoint, a key function of the media is the help get information out to people, particularly whe something happs and people have been injured or killed, what happened, why, what is the risk, what do they need to the. or if there's something about tappan -- to happen, where we
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have those responsibilities. every morning, as part of my daily brief, i get the upcoming weather. i never paid so mucattention to the weather, you have to because you have to be alert to areas the country that may be subject -- right now we finished major winter storms, where looking at flooding in the red river area, forest fires going on in texas, and you have to know all those things to make sure that we are reaching out to governorsreachingmayors, local summers as the centers, and they have all the research is -- resources they need to deal with that. media can be a great partner when you are trying to get information to people. that is not how media sees itself, but in the kinds of things we deal with, that is how we like the media to be. >> with that, i would like to bring the audience in, and first
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of all acknowledge that help of the homeland security forum, who helped bring all this to get it. our thanks to you as well. in the audience we have a well -- a wealth of knowledge share, particularly, from members of congress. we have senator of land through -- senator landrieu hrere, congressman king. >> it would be a great segway to ask -- segue ask the question, and i thank you for being forthcoming. 6.5 years ago, 1800 people were killed in a catastrophic in for sure your feeling when the federal levee system in new
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orleans collapse. not much has been talked about this morning about an important part of the department, which is fema, so i would like ask the secretary now serving, what are your thoughts abt how fema has improved, and then i would like that asks secretary chertoff, what you found when you were there, word -- what were you happy about that has improved, and is something that the country needs to focus >> fema now is doing great work, and doing what i have asked them to do, which is to lean forward, to anticipate, to be proactive, if we see something coming.
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if we have to pay a little more to bring something back, that is easier than having to move material when you are in the middle of a storm or hurricane or what their -- or what have you. recently there was a major is storm that came out and only covered 100 million americans, on super bowl weekend. we were afraid that that storm was going to create a lot of ice, and that means you lose a lot of power. and that we would have major power outages in major cities across the united states. we prepositioned a lot of things. fema has expanded their use of social media to get information to people. to keep information flowing to people, because one of the things we have lrned in managing crises is that what
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people search for is information and what they are supposed to do. the more you can get out information and what people are supposed to do, the better off we all are. >> that is true. one of the great lessons of hurricane katrina was the importance of planning up front. as a consequence of that, the whole attitude of the partment really shifted and a lot of detail planning was launched. that is the touchstone for effective response. in 2008, we s a lot of that come into play as a benefit. also on the issue of social media, that is a great tool for getting information. i hope we still have the system here, an on-line version of ebay
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where people who need resources could be matched with people in the private sector who had resources in the way we are used to buying -- matching buyers and sellers on ebay. we have had a couple of light hurrice seasons in the last couple of years. i take your point that we should not be complacent about that, because it can very easily be a nasty season next summer, not that i will step and hope it can be avoided, but you are right. >> let me rephrase the question about the current threat environmt slightly. in terms of the balance that you in your department must constantly strike between responding to the last crisis, learning from the last crisis and anticipating the next one.
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i would like to ask the past secretaries how the current threat environment compares to what you were able, realistically, to project and anticipate. what has surprised you? what has all the kind of projections that you were able to make? and to ask all of you to reflect on what we might anticipate next, to what extent our current projections you think measure up to what we should look for, in terms of intelligence. >> people have asked me do i miss being secretary. i say yes, i miss working with the people i came to trust and respect and admire because of their hard work. it was very intense, but an exciting time.
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i miss not knowing. what's your read every morning is not something you want to run home and talk your family about, but you do miss not knowing. i cannot answer tt question as specifically as the incumbent secretary, but my associates from relationships and conversations i have had -- the threat has evolved into many different directions. the rule now for e department is a little bit more complicated than we thought it would be on september 12, 2001. you have the emergence of another band of terrorists. you have the homegrown terrorists and you now have the lone wolf. the portfolio of threatsn my
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mind is a lot broader than we thought it would be, and unfortunately i don't see any narrowing of those threats as the internet continues to be a very effective tool to proselytize, educate, and motivate. whoever succes secretary napolitano is not going to see a narrowing of threat. >> i would agree with that. it has gotten more widely distributed and particularly the issue of homegrown terrorism. people that do not -- people do not fit the popular image of a terrorist. did not fit the stereotype. that puts a lot more pressure on state a local governments and ordinary citizens to help provide information.
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we focused on is a lot in 2007 and 2008 and is continuing, cybersecurity. we have seen some very dramatic, publicized attacks. that is going to become an increasing areof concern for the department. >> how well equipped are we to deal with the cyber threat? >> we have done a lot in the past two years. we have basically a whole segment devoted to cyber. we have the national cyber incident center crossed the river. we negotiated an agreement with the department of defense as to how we could use the technologies available through the nsa.
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we have a homeland security person working at the nsa. there are legitimate concerns, so we have to do this in the right way. i think cyber will be an ever evolving area. the problem with cyber is, almost by the te we are talking about something, they are on to the next thing. it is really a fast-moving field. quite frankly, none of us on this stage are as good at understanding that as someone who is 20 years old and who has grown up with the computer just as part of life. this is an area where we are really trying to hire people. if there are students in the audience with any cybersecurity terest, i would ask them to see me after this program. [laughter] >> you are going to have a long line. >> i think you have done an outstanding job.
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the threat is constantly evolving and the department tries to stay ahead of it and manage it. i thought what the media did after thanksgiving was absolutely irresponsible. it made it out that the tsa was more dangerous than bin laden. i don't mind people going through metal detectors and being checked out. the day after thanksgivg is the most heavily trafficked day of the year. i think it creates the wrong impression for the public. somehow the tsa is the enemy. we have to realize the enemy is out there and we have to be on guard against it. maybe it is a loaded question, but how can the department do a better job of reminding th american people that the enemy is there, it is not us, and we
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have to stand together. we should not allow in the criticism to criticize the entire effort. >> thank you very much for letting me go first. [laughter] i think that during the past eight years of the department, that has been one of the message is tt regardless of who has been secretary, communication is something we have been focused upon. we used to talk aut it in terms of this being work. -- being the new nor. in the 1980's, the threat was nuclear. this is a new norm in the 21st century. r job and the job ofongress and the job of the media is to report, not to pile on, not to exaggerate, but just to remind
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everybody -- it feels like there is a terrorist attack of some form or another that is reported on a regular basis. after 9/11, people began to understand we are not more vulnerable because of it, we are just more aware. the congress and all those associated with it say the threat is real -- you bet. we have dealt with grave threats in our history before. under the umbrella that we accepted as the norm, we have the strong economy, the strong military. let's remind everybody, the threat is re and we will be dealing with it for several generations. let the professionals worry about it.
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it is everybody's job to remind the general public, press, secretary, congress, is there, we are working on it. let's not beat reckless about it. we are america, we will deal with it. >> it is important that the issue of homeland security as a whole be a non-partisan issue. i think it is important that we avoid what some in the media do, to try to find ways to drive between people. we can disagree about strategies are tactics, but there should not be disagreement about the motivation of the people in the department, whatever their party, which is dedicated to the u.s. and dedicated to defending the country and making good faith judgments. that is an important part of the
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message we sent to the american public. >> jane harman has always represented a bipartisan approach to homend security. >> obviously the press is perfect after a plot like that. yesterday was my last day in congress as a senior member of peter king's committee. i spent 17 years, starting in the late 1990's, focused on the threats against our country and what to do about them. first of all, the wilson center is non-partisan, and i want to commend of three secretaries for being bipartisan, the way they have treated their department and building each on the record of the last. continuing the policies of your predecessors, that is admirable. that is something in the wilson
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center is focusing on, trying to be non-partisan. here is my question. you were talking about homegrown terror and you gave some examples where alert citizens or law enforcement found these people and turn them in before they could harm us. obviously, communities turn in people, too. the new somali folks who left minneapolis and move to somalia, our knowledge of them come to some extent from their parents and committee members. in northern virginia, five men emigrated or travel to pakistan and returned them by their relatives.
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law enforcement learn about them from their relatives. that has happened in a number of cases. i question is, how important is it to build bridges to the local community. not all the terrorists are muslims, but how important is it to build bridges to the u.s. muslim community in order to learn more about those among them who might seek to harm us, anwhat are we doing about it? >> i will go first again. i don't know what secretary napolitano is doing, but i suspect it has been followed up. there has been an emphasis within the fbi to reach out and build those relationships. it is about trustnd credibility, and being careful
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the language we use to describe the hottest -- jihadists an extremist. i think most of us, allf us think help inappropriate it can be. by and large, the terrorist we are dealing with have come from that community, and that is a fact. it is also important to realize that at one point, -- there are 01 0.4 blion muslims in the world. our responsibility is to reach out and embrace them and bill that level of trust and credibility.
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it is like the man who went into the embassy to talk about the detroit bomber. that is the kind of information and resources we need. >> we have built on that. the fbi has efforts we participate in. we have a civil rights and civil liberties component within the department. that active outreach programs. the muslim community in terms of associations have reached out to us and invited us to other meetings in their communities and so forth. there is an active bridge building going on. it is important, because as tom said, it is important to distinguish muslims from islamists, from terrorist, that very small percentage to seek to do us harm. that small percentage exists, but it is not the muslim
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community at large. >> i agree with that. it is not just a matter of getting the assistance the community in identifying people who are dangerous, and that has happened, but is also getting the community engaged in learning the narrative of the extremists. it is the sons and daughters in that community who become cannon fodder for the terrorists. it is important to give the community of feeling cut of a stake in the adventure in this country, which is the best antidote to having more recruiting going on. >> it is not just the federal government reaching out. big ci police chiefs and the like, they are doing their best to do that. it is very important to bring the responsibility back to the broader muslim community to
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stand up and be val, visible, and consistent in their condemnation of those who basically hijack their religion. we would like to see more of that. the relationship has to go both ways. we want to trust and embrace them because they are a source of information, but we need sustained advocacy on their part and condemnation of what they see going on. >> i want to bring in some of the questions. >> i am completing a scholarship and i want to start off by saying thanks for helping me pay my tuition in going to school here. my question is actually about national cybersecurity. it has been a stated goal of this administration and this
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department to expand and build upon our national cyber security work force. i would like to ask, aside from offering the economic consensus, i would like your thoughts on how we can provide the right cultural incentives to get more information security specialists, basically hackers, are those who have the capability to be hackers, into our government. our nation has one of the most talented and skilled communities of hackers in the world, and that is a great resourcto tap in going forward with our cybersecurity mission. unfortunately, it seems that many of the members of this community and in some cases some of the best of them remain distrustful and wary of the government because of security concerns and regulation policies. i am curious about your inghts on meeting this challenge and how we could bridge this trust gap and get more information
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security specialists, those who are best at what they do, to work with us in improving our tional security. >> first of all, we reach out directly. the office of personnel management has actually given the department direct higher authority to hire 1000 cybersecurity specialists. that will be helpful. the problem we have is, exactly as you stated, people who are really good, who you want, they have not thought about working for the government's. we have recruited some nationally unknown hackers to be on our committee. we speak and our present at -- there are actually had conventions, and we are there.
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[laughter] to a large point, and this goes beyond cyber, talking with young people about careers in public service. it is more than a year or two at a particular non-profit or whatever. is really investing you life and your talents, working for the greater good, working in the government, which is where you can achieve that. then providing the opportunities to demonstra that. your skills are need to protect the country. your knowledge and intellect and your energy, what have you. anything we can do to persuade young people that this is a great way to invest your talents is something we are willing to do. in fact, i am giving a series of
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lectures around the country this year at universities and different subject matter that are designed to introduce the department to university students as a place to have a career, and a very rewarding one, actually. >> it would be great if congress would take a look and revisit e roles and restrictions and gulations about engaging the private sector more intimately in developing partnerships with the federal government. i know for my own experience when i tried to track some talented people to help me on tended by three board. the regulations associated with bringing in private citizens to sit side-by-side with government in order to advance a broader interest in security and sety,
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it is very, very difficult. the regulations are written that we are not really going to trust people in the private sector because they might be financially advantage with a contract or just general information. it is about time this country recognize that the wealth of experience and capability in the private sector ought to be brought in to the federal government to deal with a lot of issues, not just cyberserity. i think the president even alluded to a re efficient and effective government in his state of the union. i hope part of that process is making it easier for people in the private sector to join in partnership. we ought to just trust the americans and make it easier f them to partner with us, particularly in the area of cyber security.
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>> we only have about five minutes left. some moreto get to questions. >> i acurrently taking secretary madeleine albright's course on national security. my question is, from the perspective of the departure of homeland security, what are your priity objectives in pakistan and are there any specific policy changes or changes -- policy changes you see toward that end? >> first of all, we have people from the department working in afghanistan. one of the issues there is translating from a military presence to civilian. ,pent a year's leave their and what we were doing is
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helping them build a customs partment. if they could collect customs revenue, that is revenue tha can be used to fund their government. that is very important in and of itself. one of our objectives in afghanistan is to have a transition from military to civilian governments. with respect to afghanistan and pakistan, obvioly a key objective is to work with the governments of both cntries to identify al qaeda havens and to work to eliminate those. >> the message to all of these students is, you can get into public service and look forward to spending in new year's eve in kabul. it is a great life [laughter] >> d president bush and for
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the national will by not seeking a congressional declarationf war against al qaeda, or would it have been counterproductive had he done so? what do you feel the effect of his response had today? >> i think he felt that given the joint resolution that it would pass with strong bipartisan suppo -- iwould help him live up to his primary responsibility which is protecting the united states. the congress acted very swiftly in a bipartisanote in both chambers, and the president took that as appropriate responsibility to proceed to build all those security measures that he felt would protect the united states.
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>> the changes that have occurred in fema are absolutely wonderful. the private sector works -- really enjoys working with mr. fugate. i queion is, what is the role of the pvate sector in the rollout of fusion sinners? >> what they are our state, local, federal entities, not only personnel but databases. the idea is to be able to move begin more quickly share information among different levels of government, but also to receive information back. one thing that happens here in washington